CUMBRIA's new Chief Constable has been announced.

Police and Crime Commissioner Richard Rhodes today formally announced Jerry Graham, current deputy Chief Constable, will take up the permanent position of Chief Constable in August.

Mr Rhodes announced Mr Graham as his preferred candidate following a rigorous two-day recruitment process held in April.

Today the Police and Crime Panel held their confirmatory hearing to assess Mr Graham’s suitability for the role of Chief Constable.

Following the meeting, the panel made their recommendation to the Police and Crime Commissioner that Mr Graham’s appointment be confirmed.

Richard Rhodes said: “I am delighted to confirm Mr Jerry Graham as the next Chief Constable of Cumbria. 

"He impressed us with his sound knowledge and significant experience of the county and its communities, as well as his obvious commitment to our shared vision to make Cumbria an even safer place to live, work and visit.

“I look forward to working with him to take forward the long-term plans for policing over the next few years, in line with my Police and Crime Plan.”

Cllr Celia Tibble, Chair of the Cumbria Police and Crime Panel, said:

“This is arguably the biggest, and most important, decision that any Commissioner is going to make.

"The Chief Constable role is fundamental to how policing is carried out in the county.

"There are big challenges facing the police in Cumbria, not least how the service will continue to meet the needs of the county while dealing with the significant budget pressures it will face over coming years.

“Mr Graham’s answers were comprehensive and gave Panel members confidence that he has the skills, knowledge and experience to carry out the requirements of the role to a high standard.

"The Panel were particularly impressed by the evidence of Mr Graham’s integrity and his clear focus on ensuring values and ethics are at the heart if policing.

"In addition we noted his track record of successfully delivering major projects and change programmes within Cumbria Constabulary.

“For these reasons the Panel was happy to recommend to the Commissioner that he should proceed with Mr Graham’s appointment.”

Mr Jerry Graham said: “I am honoured to be given the opportunity to lead Cumbria Constabulary as Chief Constable and I consider it a privilege to serve the public of Cumbria in this important role.

“I look forward to working with the Police and Crime Commissioner, to deliver his Police and Crime Plan to keep the communities within Cumbria safe.

“I am proud of Cumbria Constabulary, whilst there are a number of challenges ahead we are a dynamic organisation and I am confident and optimistic we can meet these challenges.”

Mr Graham’s responses to the panel's questions focused on his experience in the county, the impact of austerity on the service’s capability, changing demands on the service such as cyber-crime the police increasingly being a service of last resort as other local public services make cutbacks.

Despite this he stressed the need to continue to invest in the workforce, ensuring they are better trained and better equipped to meet changing demands.

He also spoke about ensuring values and ethics are the heart of policing, and the need to be open and transparent in the way the police operate in order to build public confidence.